Yiddish Word of the Week
Shlogn - שלאגן

Shlogn - שלאגן \SHLOG-en\ Verb:

To beat, hit, strike; mint (money); fight [with zikh].

Pronunciation: Click here to hear a native Yiddish speaker use this word in conversation.

Synonyms: farknakn (פארקנאקן); hakn (האקן); klapn (קלאפן); onshtoysn (אנשטויסן); trasken(טראסקען).

German equivalents: drücken, hämmern, klopfen, pochen, schlagen, stoßen. 

Etymology: The word derives from Middle High German “slahen,” from Old High German “slahan,” itself derived from Proto-Germanic *slah-. Cognates include Danish “slå,” Dutch “slaan,” Gothic slahanNew High German “schlagen,” Norwegian “slå,” Old English “slēan,” Old Norse “slá,” Old Saxon “slahan,” and Swedish “slå.”I theorized that perhaps the Modern English verbs “to slugslog" derive from similar roots, but I haven’t found anyone who supports this possibility.

Derivatives of shlognaroyfshlogn (ארויפשלאגן) or tsushlogn (צושלאגן) - to nail up, affix; aruntershlogn (ארונטערשלאגן) - to deduct (money), tackle; bashlogn (באשלאגן) - to upholster, line, cover, break out in sweat or a rash; dershlogn (דערשלאגן) - to oppress, depress; farshlogn (פארשלאגן) - to beat; forshlogn (פארשלאגן) - to suggest; onshlogn (אנשלאגן) - to give a beating to; onshlogn zikh (אנשלאגן זיך) - to knock against; oysshlogn (אויסשלאגן) - to recoup expenses, strike (the hour), knock out; tseshlogn (צעשלאגן) - to hit, batter, beat, defeattseshlogn zikh (צעשלאגן זיך) - to get into a fight, have it out; shloger (שלאגער) - a hitter (in baseball or otherwise), a shock troop; shleger (שלעגער) - a thug; hintshleger (הינטשלעגער) - a dogcatcher; toytshleger (טויטשלעגער) - a murderer; matseyve-shleger (מצבה-שלעגער) - a gravedigger; shlog (שלאג) - a punch, blow, wound; shlog-instrument (שלאג-אינסטרומענט) - a percussion instrument; shlogshmant (שלאגשמאנט) - whipped cream; shlogvort (שלאגווארט) - a slogan; shlog-hamerl (שלאג-האמערל) - the hammer of a clock; shlog-verk (שלאג-ווערק) - clock-work; shlog-zeygerl (שלאג-זייגערל) - a watch; shlogs-regn (שלאגס-רעגן) - heavy rain; shlag (שלאג) - a stroke, blow, hit, wretched person; shlager (שלאגער) - a hit (successful song or play); geshleg (געשלעג) - a fight, contest; freggeshleg (פערגגעשלעג) - a College Bowl (game of questions); dershlognkayt (דערשלאגנקייט) - oppression, depression; forshlog (פארשלאג) - a suggestion, proposal, offer, proposition, parliamentary motionsholem-forshlog (שלום-פארשלאג) - a peace proposal; oysshlog (אויסשלאג) - an eruption of pimples; shlogik (שלאגיק) - vivid; shlogndik(שלאגנדיק) - striking; shlegerish (שלעגעריש) - thuggish; dershlogn (דערשלאגן) - dejected, depressed, downhearted; oyfgeshlogn (אויפגעשלאגן) - beaten.

Phrases with shlognshlogn oder (שלאגן אדער) - to let blood (as a cure); shlogn vortslen (שלאגן ווארצלען) - to take root; shlogn kapoyer (שלאגן קאפויער) - to vomit (lit., to hit backwards); shlogn puter (שלאגן פוטער) - to churn (lit., beat) butter; shlogn (emetsn) tsum hartsn [שלאגן (עמעצן) צום הארצן] - to disgust (someone; lit., to hit someone in his heart); shlogn zikh mit der deye (שלאגן זיך מיט דער דעה) - to hesitate, waver; shlogn tsu bodn (שלאגן צו באדן) - to strike down; shlogn zikh kop in vant (שלאגן זיך קאפ אין וואנט) - to carry on furiously when hope is gone, make a commotion, attempt the impossible (lit., to hit one’s head against the wall; see Weinreich on the origins of this phrase); Gey shlog zikh kop in vant (גיי שלאג זיך קאפ אין וואנט) - Go jump in a lake! (lit., Go hit your head against the wall!); onshlogn in (אנשלאגן אין) - to strike something against; onshlogn zikh in (אנשלאגן זיך אין) - to knock (oneself) against; opshlogn di tir (אפשלאגן די טיר) - to beat a path to the door; oysshlogn zikh di hoytsoes (אויסשלאגן די הוצאות) - to cover one’s expenses; dershlognzikh tsu (דערשלאגן זיך צו) - to reach, attain; krign dem shlag (קריגן דעם שלאג) - to be stricken with apoplexy.

Expressions with shlogn:1. Az me git, nemt men; az me shlogt, loyft men (אז מע גיט, נעמט מען; אז מע שלאגט, לויפט מען) - When they are giving, accept; when they are hitting, run away.2. Az tsvey shlogn zikh, khapt der driter dos hitl (אז צוויי שלאגן זיך, כאפט דער דריטער דאס היטל) - When two people fight, the third grabs his hat (and runs for the hills so he won’t be caught up or be “hit” for witnessing the event).3. Er vil faln un di noz nisht tseshlogn (ער וויל פאלן און די נאז נישט צעשלאגן) - He wants to fall and not break his nose (i.e. he wants the impossible).4. Shlog zikh mit Got arum! (שלאג זיך מיט גאט ארום) - Go fight city hall! (lit., Go fight with God!). 5.Az Got volt gelebt oyf der erd, volt men im ale fentster oysgeshlogn (אז גאט וואלט געלעבט אויף דער ערד, וואלט מען אים אלע פענצטער אויסגעשלאגן) - If God lived on earth, all His windows would be broken (because people would be angry with Him for their lot in life).6. Az men shlogt, shlogt men zikh (אז מען שלאגט, שלאגט מען זיך) - When one hits, one really hits oneself.7. Vos iz der khilek, oyb der nar shlogt, oder der khokhem shlogt - vey tut es dokh! (וואס איז דער חילוק, אויב דער נאר שלאגט, אויב דער חכם שלאגט - וויי טוט עס דאך) - What’s the difference if a fool hits or a wise person hits - it still hurts!8. Az men shlogt dem kaltn shteyn, flit aroys a heyser funk (אז מען שלאגט דעם קאלטן שטיין, פליט ארויס א הייסער פונק) - If you annoy an even-tempered person, he, too, will eventually get angry (lit., If you strike a cold stone, a hot spark flies out).9. A barimer iz gut tsu shlogn (א בארימער איז גוט צו שלאגן) - Nobody takes a beating like a braggart (lit., A braggart is good to beat up). 10. Es shlogn zikh ale farn shtikele khale (עס שלאגן זיך אלע פארן שטיקעלע חלה) - All fight for a piece of bread. 

More expressions featuring the word shlogn can be found in previous YWOTW posts: milkhvant, and nakhes.

Shlogn in Jewish religious life:
Traditionally, there are three times of the Jewish year associated with shlogn: the day before Yom Kippur, Hosha’na Rabba (the seventh day of Sukkot), and Purim. 
1. On the day before Yom Kippur, many people shlog kapores (שלאג כפרות; lit., beat atonements) by waving a chicken (for a woman) or a rooster (for a man) around their heads three times, reciting a prayer, and then ritually slaughtering it to achieve atonement (see Shulhan ArukhOrah Hayyim 605:1). Gershon Hepner, a list member, once suggested that the awkward phrase “beat up forgivenesses” is actually based on a mistranslation of the Talmudic story (bKetubbot 10a) in which Rav Nahman rules assevuhu kufrei (אסבוהו כופרי) - beat him with palm branches - in a case that comes before him. According to Hepner, some Jews took kufrei (כופרי) as related tokapparah (כפרה) - atonement - and therefore named the existing custom of self-flagellation on the day before Yom Kippur (see ibid. 606:4) shlogn kapores - to beat atonements. Over time, though, this atoning ritual was transferred to chickens, because, Hepner explains, self-flagellation came to be viewed as a Christian or Muslim ritual, which is ironic, of course, because achieving expiation through chicken waiving seems to some groups to be rather pagan (see immediately below). I’m not sure Hepner is correct, but it is an interesting suggestion. Today, the custom of self-flagellation on the day before Yom Kippur is still practiced in some circles and is referred to as shlogn malkes (שלאגן מלקות) - beating lashes. In addition, the custom is to shlog/klap zikh al kheyt (שלאג/קלאפ זיך על חטא) - beat [one’s chest while saying] “Al Kheyt” - during the Yom Kippur services when the prayer “Al Het” (lit., “For the Sin”) is recited. There is even an expression that goes along with this: Er shlogt zikh al kheyt un balekt zikh derbay (ער שלאגט זיך על חטא און באלעקט זיך דערביי) - He beats “Al Kheyt” but licks [his fingers] at the same time (i.e. he seems penitent but is very far from it).
For pictures of the shlogn kapores ceremony, see attached (taken by Shulamit Seidler-Feller in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, this past Thursday night), as well as the greeting cards here. For more on the ritual and kapores generally, see Wex (80-86), particularly 83-84, where he implicitly gives one reason the ritual is not so popular among modern Jews (the Christian connection) and has instead been replaced by waving money over one’s head. Also, in support of his claim, 82, that some kapore chickens are sold with Pampers, see here (p. 23).
2. On Hosha’na Rabba, the custom is to shlog hoyshaynes (שלאג הושענות) - beat willow branches - as part of that day’s rituals centered around praying for rain (see Shulhan ArukhOrah Hayyim 664:4). Oyszen vi an opgeshlogene hoyshayne (אויסזען ווי אן אפגעשלאגענע הושענה) - appearing like a beat-up willow - is a phrase that, according to Wex (who seems to have gotten a couple of his facts wrong), derives from the look on the face of the average observant Jew at the end of the holiday season that begins with Rosh ha-Shanah and concludes with Shemini Atseret; he looks and feels like an opgeshlogene hoyshayne by the time Hosha’na Rabba rolls around. 
3. On Purim, many Jews shlog/klap Homen (שלאג/קלאפ המן) - beat [upon hearing] Homen - during the reading of the Scroll of Esther (see Shulhan ArukhOrah Hayyim 690:17: “makkim Haman”). This has to do with the biblical command of erasing the name of the Amalekites (seeDevarim 25:19), from whom Haman was descended. Originally, people would write Haman’s name on the soles of their feet and stamp when they heard it being read, but nowadays it is more common, I believe, to find people using all sorts of noise-makers (Homen-klappers or gragers) to stamp out his name.

Because of all of the shlogn that takes place on these days, and because each of them came to be associated independently with the eating of kreplekh (קרעפלעך) - dumplings (see the YIVO Encyclopedia on the day before Yom Kippur and Purim)shlogn and kreplekh came to be connected. [In traditional sources, I was only able to find mention of this practice on the day before Yom Kippur (R. Tsaddok ha-Kohen mi-Lublin, Peri TsaddikDevarim le-Erev Yom ha-Kippurim 5), Purim (Leket Yosher 1 (Orah Hayyim):4; R. Yesha’yah ha-Levi Horowitz, Shalah,Sha’ar ha-Otiyot, ot ha-kof; Bah, Orah Hayyim 168:3; Taz, ibid. 168:7; Eliyyah Rabbah ibid. 168:14; Responsa Shevut Ya’akov 1:41), and the holiday of Shavu’ot(!) (Responsa Divrei Yatsiv,Even ha-Ezer 60).] That’s why, according to Wex, we have such expressions as Kreplekh zolstu esn (קרעפלעך זאלסטו עסן) - You should eat dumplings (i.e. Someone should beat you up) (seeWeinreich for an alternative expression) - and Ven men shlogt, kokht men kreplekh (ווען מען שלאגט, קאכט מען קרעפלעך) - When you beat [kaporeshoyshaynes, etc.], you cook dumplings.

Shlogn in a sentence: Der shuster shlogt di zoyl funem froys shukh kdey tsu es farrikhtn (דער שוסטער שלאגט די זויל פונעם פרויס שוך כדי צו עס פארריכטן) - The cobbler hammers at the sole of the woman’s shoe in order to repair it.

Use shlogn in your own sentence today!